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Posted on: December 23, 2021 | Fire Toss

Do I Need Video Game Addiction Treatment?

Did you know that more than 50% of the world plays video games? We have the pandemic to thank for that accelerated growth, but it’s a trend that will likely stick around — meaning the need for video game addiction treatment is higher than ever.

Video games can be a fun way to release some stress and disassociate from the real world for a bit, but when does the hobby turn into an addiction? In this post, we’ll go over some warning signs and details about video game addiction treatment.

What is Game Addiction?

Video game addiction is the compulsive use of video games to the point where problems develop in other areas of the gamer’s life, particularly the disruption of daily activities and responsibilities. Video games include:

  • Computer games
  • Console games
  • Arcade machine games
  • Cell phone games
  • Social network games, like FarmVille on Facebook.

According to research, about 1 to 16% of the video gaming population meet the criteria for video game addiction. It’s also important to note that video game addiction can happen despite age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, etc. 

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What are the Causes of Video Game Addiction

Now we’ll go over video game addiction causes and effects.

Similar to other behavioral addictions, video game addiction is a disorder of the brain’s reward system. Over time, high levels of video gaming, which is considered an addictive stimulus, initiate the production of increasingly large amounts of dopamine in the brain. This stimulates receptors in the brain that drive the impulse to repeat the behavior. This is the same dopamine release process that triggers addictions to alcohol and drugs.

What Are the Effects of Gaming Addiction?

Common symptoms and dangers of being video game addicted include:

  • Constantly thinking about gaming.
  • Feeling bad when you can’t game.
  • Feeling like you need to spend more and more time gaming to feel good.
  • The inability to quit or play less.
  • Losing interest in everything else — even things you used to love.
  • Having problems at work, school, and/or home due to gaming.
  • Still gaming despite the problems it’s causing.
  • Lying about the amount of time spent gaming.
  • Using gaming to ease bad feelings/moods.
  • Becoming irritable, anxious, and/or angry when forced to stop gaming.
  • Going long periods without eating, sleeping, or bathing due to video game playing.

 

The harmful effects of video game addiction can also manifest physically, including:

  • Wrist pain
  • Neck pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Drained, dry eyes
  • Skin blisters
  • Calluses
  • Sleep disorders
  • Peripheral neuropathy (weakness or numbness in the hands)
  • Obesity
  • Blood clots

 

Video games can be especially harmful to children, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly encourages parental monitoring of all video games. According to AAP, the exposure to violence in media, including video games, puts children at significant risk for:

  1. Aggressive behavior
  2. Desensitization to violence
  3. Nightmares and fear of being harmed

  

How to Stop Video Game Addiction

So, how to help someone addicted to video games? The good news is that as video gaming — and addiction — becomes more prevalent, help is increasingly available. Highland Springs has a certified video game addiction treatment clinic made up of staff members who have the experience and expertise to help you overcome video game addiction.

Although studies about video game addiction treatment are in their early stages, one therapy that can help is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. This mental health counseling teaches patients how to replace their addictive thoughts about gaming in order to change their behavior.

There are also some things you can do to prevent a gaming problem from happening, including: 

  • Set time limits for gameplay, and stick to them. Use timers and auto-shutoffs once the time limit has been reached.
  • Keep phones and gaming consoles out of the bedroom so you won’t play mindlessly all night.
  • Make sure you engage in other stimulating activities daily, such as exercising, socializing, and reading a good book, or watching a great TV show or movie with your loved ones.

 

Highland Springs Can Help

Are you or a loved one addicted to playing video games? If you’re looking for video game addiction treatment, look no further than Highland Springs. With multiple behavioral health treatment centers, we strive to be as accessible and convenient for our patients as possible. Call us today for more information about our video game addiction treatment program, or fill out this form to schedule a confidential consultation appointment.  

 

Symptoms of Gaming Addiction

If you’re wondering whether you or a loved one needs to seek video game addiction treatment, here are some common symptoms to look out for that signify an addiction to video games:

  • Constantly thinking about gaming.
  • Feeling bad when you can’t game.
  • Feeling like you need to spend more and more time gaming to feel good.
  • The inability to quit or play less.
  • Losing interest in everything else — even things you used to love.
  • Having problems at work, school, and/or home due to gaming.
  • Still gaming despite the problems it’s causing.
  • Lying about the amount of time spent gaming.
  • Using gaming to ease bad feelings/moods.

 

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